It feels like I've been cooking for Thanksgiving for weeks. Not that I'm complaining (well, maybe just a little bit) but in my effort to get the recipes out to all of you with enough lead time, I've kind of tired out my family's palette and my passion for anything remotely connected to turkey, stuffing, cranberries or sweet potatoes. Not to worry, I'm sure we'll all be plenty excited for it next week, especially because I'm not hosting and others will be making some of the food too, but for now we need a well deserved break. This sheet pan cashew chicken and veggies has saved the day...and my sanity! It's easily one of the yummiest and easiest dinners I've made in a long time and it's the brainchild of Molly Gilbert, author of One Pan & Done, the wonderful new cookbook devoted to minimalist cooking. For all of that and more, she and the book are deserving of Famous Fridays status. How can you not be a fan of an entire book filled with delicious recipes that require barely any cleanup?!!
This is Molly second book--she's also the author of Sheet Pan Suppers, another great book devoted to easy entrées. Her new book expands on this theme, including not only sheet pans but skillets, pot, Dutch ovens and casserole dishes. The book is divided into chapters for Breakfast, Snacks, Vegetarian, Poultry, Seafood and Meat Mains with family pleasing favorites, like Baked Oatmeal on the Go, Oven Mac' Cheese, Green Chicken Chili, Broccolini and Honey-Orange Salmon Baked Spring Risotto and more. There's even a section for easy desserts like Chocolate Molten Caramel Minis which I am dying to try! And the recipes are clearly explained in a down-to-earth friendly voice with lots of color photos. Go Molly!
And now on to this Asian inspired Cashew Chicken and Veggies. It comes together so quickly that you can probably make it in less time than a takeout delivery can get to you and it'll be much healthier too! Truly--after you've cut up the veggies, you toss them with a soy-based sauce that only takes about a minute to whisk together itself and then lay the chicken right on top, drizzle with more of the sauce and broil. Right before the chicken is done, you sprinkle on the cashews to let them heat up. Then when you take the pan out of the oven, everything gets topped with a generous helping of chopped scallions. There's barely enough time to cook up a pot of rice!!
The chicken is tender, the vegetables get slightly charred, bringing out their natural sweetness and then there's the awesome crunch of the water chestnuts and cashews. And that sweet and tangy sauce. So much color, texture and taste! It's a feast for the eyes and mouth! And when you're ready to clean up, you simply throw out the aluminum foil. That's it folks! Yup, this one's definitely going into my regular rotation! Enormous family happiness after this meal!!
So a big note of thanks to Molly and her fantastic, new, time-saving One-Pan & Done. If you're looking for a holiday gift for that busy someone who likes to cook, this book will definitely fit the bill! And speaking of the holidays we're down to the home-stretch. Only a few days left. When I'm not watching (or driving) to hockey this weekend, I'll be cooking up some cranberry sauce, getting all my ingredients together and making some pie crusts. And figuring out how to justify baking one more pie because there's this new recipe for one with brown sugar and cranberries that's been calling out to me and...what's a baker to do?!! Have a great one and see you next week!
One Pan & Done's Cashew Chicken and Veggies-Famous Fridays
Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: 10-12 minutes; Cook Time: About 15 minutes
- 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped into bite-sized pieces
- 2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into thin rounds
- One 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
- 4-6 thin cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts-about 1 1/2 pounds (if you have thicker ones, just slice them in half lengthwise to get them as thin as possible)
- 1/2 cup roasted cashews
- 3 large scallions, thinly sliced
1. Preheat oven to broil with the rack about 4 inches from the heat. Line a rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Whisk the soy sauce, oil, oyster sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, brown sugar and garlic together in a small bowl.
3. Place the cut up pepper, carrots and water chestnuts on the prepared pan and toss with half of the sauce. Then spread out veggies evenly. Place the chicken cutlets on top of the veggies spreading it out over the pan and drizzle them with the rest of the sauce, turning to coat. Place the pan in the oven and cook for about 5-6 minutes, then flip the chicken. Return the pan to the oven and cook for another 5-6 minutes until chicken is entirely cooked through and veggies are slightly charred and cooked through as well. Sprinkle on the cashews evenly and let cook about 30 seconds longer. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the scallions. Serve immediately.
Note: Recipe adapted from One Pan & Done by Molly Gilbert. I left out the 1 tablespoon minced ginger from the sauce and the chopped cilantro garnish.